I’ll be the first to admit that when Ring Fit Adventure was first revealed, I wasn’t entirely sure on where I stood on it. As a lover of RPG games, I knew the game was deserving of giving it a go and given how caught up I got with Fitness Boxing, the fitness gameplay shown in the trailer, soon won me over.
So, there I was, riding first class on the Team Ring Fit Adventure train, eagerly awaiting the game’s October 18 release, only to be presented with the means to go hands-on with it even sooner.
Having been invited to a Nintendo event for games media, of course, I had to drop everything and give Ring Fit Adventure a try, only I dared not go alone, so I made sure to invite the very awesome Brain Cooper of Japanese Nintendo and I am really glad I did.
If you thought it was funny watching the actors and gamers in the official trailer, do all the movements, it’s a lot funnier when it’s a friend of yours and you’re in the same room as them, trying not to laugh as its taken them longer to put on the leg strap than it should have. (Sorry Brian, I couldn’t not mention that.)
Now, because this is a preview, not a review, I will not be sharing my full thoughts of the game, but I do have plenty to say about this curious title based on everything we were able to do and see in our hands-on session, which lasted for an hour.
Before I dive into the deep end however, for those who are unaware, Ring Fit Adventure is a fantasy game where players must embark on an adventure, that has them pursuing a dragon that is no stranger to bodybuilding.
Only, instead of winning battles by mashing buttons and talking to a countless number of NPCs, how far you traverse falls entirely down on the player, and how much effort they’re willing to put into the game.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, may have given Link a stamina meter, but Ring Fit Adventure compels the player to tap into their prowess and perform a number of movements, which includes jogging on the spot, just so that the in-game protagonist will run. But, how does it all work?
Well, that’s where the new Ring-Con and Leg Strap come into effect. With the right Joy-Con being slotted into the Ring-Con and the left Joy-Con being slid into the Leg Strap, which is then strapped to your left thigh, the controllers utilise the in-built sensors and motion controls to read players movement, and with the Ring-Con in hand, players can use it to press in to confirm selections, pull it further apart to cancel and it is also used to pull off a range of exercises.
One of my favourite exercises has to be something that isn’t a skill used in battle, but something you need to do when exploring and that is knee lifts. Not only are they needed to climb stairs, but when your character is trudging through water, jogging just doesn’t cut it. The water bogs down movement and knee lifts are the only way to get through it, so you literally have to trudge your way out of the body of water your character is in.
The second I saw this for the first time, I couldn’t help but realise just how intricate and in-depth everything is. Sure, on the surface the art style looks like the game is a Splatoon 2 coloured version of Breath of the Wild, which reminds me a ton of Miitopia for the Nintendo 3DS, but in its simplicity, there is complexity and more than meets the eye.
Even the animations that play out during battle segments are worthy of paying attention to. You’re not just squatting, there is a giant foot floating above your enemy, ready to smack them into submission every time you do the exercise correctly.
There’s also an importance put on proper dieting, a set-up in place so players can’t just use the same skills one after the other. After all, when exercising, you don’t want to do the same thing every single day, you need variety in addition to repetition and the developers certainly considered this fact when designing the battles in the first place.
I know for some of you out there, you might be worried that Ring Fit Adventure will be too reliant on its gimmick, but Ring Fit is not Nintendo Labo and it is especially not ARMS. I know the latter is a game that can be played without motion controls, but with them, ARMS felt like a more intimate fighting game that I did really enjoy.
Now, I can see some parallels between Ring Fit and ARMS, however Ring Fit Adventure does have the potential to be even better thanks to just how in-depth it is and coupled with the fact it has the potential to wear out players in numerous of ways, it’s certainly a fitness regime you can enjoy for a long time, whilst playing a weirdly attractive title straight from Nintendo.
Although I can’t say much more about what was seen and done from my first session, I will see one thing, Ring Fit Adventure is a game that does deserve to find some mild success. A game that has great potential in surprising those who choose to give it a go and you will certainly want to read/watch some reviews on it because it is games like this that show off just how diverse Nintendo can be and what Joy-Con are truly capable of!
This post was written by Solid Jack